Check Out: Mt. Desolation – “State of Our Affairs”

If you were wondering what the sum of The Killers, Keane, The Long Winters, and Mumford & Sons actually sounds like, then today is your lucky day. Mt. Desolation — which also features the fiddle of Noah and the Whale‘s Tom Hobden — have released a track from their forthcoming album of “country songs.”

The new super-group debuted a slew of those songs at their debut gig at London’s Luminaire on June 4th, and by looking at the video from the show, a good time was had by all. They all looked very Ralph Lauren in khakis and button-downs, but their clothes couldn’t keep the joy (and nervousness) from showing on their faces.

In fact, vocalists Jesse Quin and Tim Rice-Oxley (both Keane contributors) took the time to post a handwritten love note to fans on the band’s blog.

“Just stopping by to say hello and also to say a massive thanks to those who made it…It was so much fun! Quite scary though!” they wrote. “For those of you who couldn’t make it, we thought we’d give you a little taster of the album, it’s a song called ‘State of Our Affairs’.” (You can download it in exchange for an email address.)

The song is a four-and-a-half-minute introspective slow-burner that features a downtrodden Jesse Quin vocal and chorus that sheds light on the band’s name.

“We’ll still be here,” sings Quin, “when the weather turns and blue skies reappear/when you’re pressed, fallin’/you climb Mount Desolation yet again/and you find we’re all just ordinary men.”

With the Killers’ Ronnie Vannucci’s basic percussion on the background, the song chugs along, adding plucked strings and subtle guitar wash along the way. Hobden brings string arrangements similar to those from the Noah and the Whale track, “The First Days of Spring”.  In fact, “State of Our Affairs” has the same melancholy, introspective vibe as a lot of Noah and the Whale’s stuff, and it’s starting to sound like Mt. Desolation’s debut (save for Rice-Oxley’s “Midnight Ghost”) is going to be a pretty down-tempo affair.

If you live in London, you can check out their next gig on July 10th at the Lexington. Otherwise, check out “State of Our Affairs”, then peep some videos from the band’s first show below.

Image via Alex Lake at

“My, My, My” Live @ The Luminaire (June 4, 2010)

“Midnight Ghost” Live @ The Luminaire (June 4, 2010)


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